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America's Next Top Model
Season 4
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What would you do to become America's Next Top Model? For one, you have to look the part. Then you have to sacrifice your being to a 24/7 commitment. More than that, you have to walk the walk and talk the talk.

But most of all, it's a game of surviving your roommates... all of whom want it just as bad as you do.

Recaps by Gordon Pepper, GSNN


FACT FILE:
Host:
Tyra Banks
Judges: Tyra Banks, Janice Dickinson, Nigel Barker, Nole Martin
Creator: Tyra Banks
EP: Tyra Banks, Ken Mok
Packager: 10x10 Entertainment, Bankable Productions
Airs:
Wednesdays at 9pm ET on UPN


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"The Girl Who Is a Lady Kat. Reow!" - March 2
 

We've had three seasons of Top Model Divas. Are you ready for season 4? Apparently, a lot of you can't wait, so here we go...

We start with Tyra, who reminds everyone about her not so pretty past, but with work and determination, she was able to get to modeldom. We then see highlights from ANTM3 with Tyra showing us clips of all 3 models. We have thousands more who auditioned for this new series cycle. 35 semi-finalists got to go to L.A., 20 of them make the first cut, and by the end of the show, we'll have the final 14 who will be feuding for the top spot in ANTM4.

We start with Noelle (20, Reno, NV), who has frizzy brown hair and who says that she will probably meet the most gorgeous girls she has ever encountered. Kahlen (20, Broken Arrow, Oklahoma) also just got in, and she says that the environment is crazy. Someone from a less rural area is Brittany (22, Tallahassee, Florida), who says that modelling is all she has ever wanted to do from day one of her life. 'Whatever it takes to win, baby!'.

Brandi (19, Houston, TX) says that for her first plane ride, she was terrified. You haven't seen anything yet if you want to talk about being terrified in L.A. She joins Lluvy (Modesto, CA) who was born in Mexico, Hopefully, she will have better luck than Magdalena, who was the first Finalist sent packing.

Does Tiffany (21, Miami Fl) look familiar? What about Mary (22, Portland Oregon)? Yep, they are here for a second chance. Tiffany got into a fight in a bar (she was the woman who had alcohol poured on her head) which led to her dismissal, while Mary, a full-figured model, was passed over for the more full-figured Toccara. Tiffany says that she is a better person, while Mary wants a second chance to heal her broken heart. 'I am not wasting anything with this one.'

Lindsey (21, Baton Rouge, LA) notices that everyone is checking each other out, and they all whoop when Jam Manuel (Art Director) and Michele Mock-Falcon (Casting Director) walk into the room. He tells them all that someone in the room will be America's Next Top Model and asks them what they think Tyra is looking for to be the next Top Model. We hear some answers, and from the back of the room, we hear 'I know what I'm looking for'. That comes from Tyra and all of the stunned girls turn around and shriek.

Tyra tells them all that she has seen all of their tapes - including one who says that she thought she has had a past life as a cat. She is looking for girls with pizzazz and beauty on the inside. Noelle says that it pumped everyone up as they await for their auditions to begin.

Tyra won't be alone in judging the competitors. Jay Manuel (Mr. Jay) will be there, as well as the returning Jay Alexander (Ms Jay) the runway and posture coach. With that, we see more hopefuls - like the short blonde haired Rebecca (21, Minneapolis, MN), who's with boyfriend, who vouches for her. The All-American/Californian wants to have fun before settling down. She wants to be seen as a sweet person who sees modeling as having fun...Modeling is having fun?

Keeyah (18, Compton, CA) is next, as we see this African American beauty wants to represent Compton better than it's reputation. She's studying to be a doctor - but she'd choose modeling over that. The light brown haired Kahlen says that she's never seen the show, as she says that she works for 50 hours a week, but her walking audition says otherwise as Tyra says that she's watched every episode. Heh.

Wendy (21, Baton Rouge, LA) says that she comes from a strict Mormon family, but she doesn't believe in G-d, adding that her mom would have preferred if she said that she was pregnant or a lesbian. She says that her change has gotten her more into fashion and modeling. Jennifer (20, Richmond, CA) looks like Yaya and Tyra with the big forehead while saying that she has found a personal relationship with G-d. You sense that she and Wendy are going to be roommates?

Brittney comes in and Mrs. Jay's response - did you drink Red Bull this morning? She says that she's like this all the time and wants to be the center of attention. Mr. Jay suggests that if they stick her and Janice Dickinson in a room together, then only one of them will come out alive - and it will be Brittney. I suggest that we may have found our villain this year.

Tiffany returns - and we see clips of her failure from last season. She says that she has changed her ways, saying that she has been more mature and less violent. She says that she went back to school, has gotten a boyfriend to help her kid and she is a happy woman. She is crying that she has come back to Beverly Hills and her grandmother, who was not supportive of her last time, saw how serious she was and chipped in to get her bathing suits. Jay Manuel is remarkably impressed, adding that she really wants to change her life.

We go from a redemption scene to a swimming pool scene, as the ladies play Truth or Dare. The dares including switching bathing suits, pole dances, and running around naked - with the nudity coming from - of course - Brittney. The girls reactions ranges from glee to disgust, and it's clear that we have a wide variety of girls this season.

After the pool, it's time to go to the White Lotus night club - yes, THAT nightclub, the one that got Tiffany in trouble last season. That's for the 21 and over group - and this time, there was no controversies. The minors had no controversy either, as they went out bowling. Whoo! It seemed like the young'uns had a better time bowling - and they even stayed out longer than the older women. Take that!

Back to the auditions. Jessika (21, Houston, Texas) is the 'Lady Kat', who looks cat-like, believes that she used to be a cat, and has long cat-like nails. Jay Manuel loves her skin. Sarah (21, Baltimore, MD) on the other hand, was always called a tomboy, and she is looking to change that image. She is very athletic, and it looks like we have this year's Ann.

Luvey (pronounced You-Vee) is really nervous, because she actually is wearing someone else's clothing. Wha? She wears her own clothing, which gets her back into the time where she was in a gang - and she is also looking for a change in her life. Remember when Sarah was athletic? Well. she has nothing on Michele (18, Terre Haute. IN), who is a female wrestler and has to grab up girls and fling them around. 'I love wrestling a lot - but I will sacrifice the wrestling to become a model'. They allow her in, lest they get pile-driven into a table.

Then we get a list of people who we don't get names from - which means that they probably make the final 20. With people losing their shoes, singing, saying that they show they lost their virginity and doing ballet, it's easy to see why. Naima (20, Detroit) was going through a rough time, so she shaved her head. Oooook. Brandy has a red puffy Afro and admits it's not real. Oops. She's here for the competition. 'You need a shirt? Should have brought your own.' Jay equated her walk to a grocery store walk, and we either have another villain - or someone who doesn't make the first cut.

Tatiana (18, Maui, HI) is Asian-American and wishes them Aloha. She spent her rent money on a plane ticket - and she says that this dedication will get her to what she wants to do. Estella (22, Bronx, NYC) is a Latina who wants it so bad that she can taste it. She has a kid - and her husband then threw her out in February, making her homeless. She sees the show as a salvation to rescue her from this existence. That's rough. It's rougher when she leaves and Tyra gives the 'I don't think so look'.

When you stick 35 ladies in a room, personalities are sure to clash, like Lady Kat and Melissa. Tiffany was appalled that her behavior was what Lady Kat is displaying. The attitude continues when they go out for a picnic and bees show up. The Kat goes after the bees while everyone else is giggling at her.

Someone who isn't giggling is Mary, who is looking to take up Toccara's spot. Also looking to fill the plus-sized model is Rachel, who says that everyone is her competition. 'As long as I don't show a nipple, I'm good to go.' Uh, Rachel - if you've seen past episodes of the show, you know that here will be nipples flying and I can see major problems here.

Next up is Alexandria (19, Fort Collins, CO), a black frizzy haired woman who had a bad speech impediment. She tells Tyra that she went to remedial classes, and Tyra says that won't be an issue. What also won't be an issue - Christina's (24, Tallahassee, Fl) tan, which makes her look African-American (though she's not). She says she has a tough exterior - and we'll be seeing how tough it is.

Brita is a blonde beauty from La Hacienda, CA, but she and her family comes from Latvia, and she is in the U.S. as a waitress, pursuing her dream to be a model. Next up is the Noelle from earlier on in the show, as the talks about her baby and the father - who she is still with. She has demetriosis, which is a disease that was supposed to not let her have kids - but there is the tyke. That changed her life and she has a new sense of self-confidence.

We end the auditions with a walk-off, as the model's are compared to each other. They are told to walk 'fierce', and almost all of the models bring it. Jay is impressed with the walks - but he breaks it to the ladies that the first cuts are coming up the next morning. The women deal with it in different ways - some cry, others pray, and Tiffany says that it would be hard.

The next morning, Jay tells them that the cut would be from 35 to 20. In the other room is 20 portfolios. In each portfolio - a picture of one of the 20 people who are advancing. On Jay's count, the women rush into the room. Brandy, Tiffany, Mary, Jessika the Lady Kat, Jennifer, Estela and Melissa are some of the people who advance. Some of the people who don't advance include Alexandria, and Rachel - and Mary notices that with Rachel gone, she is the only plus-sized model left.

For the 20 survivors, they get their first assignment - they have to create their own pictures in a photo booth. They will be judged on beauty and originality. Tiffany thinks she messed up, while Estella was taking notes and trying to do things that other women did that she liked.

Those photos get shown to the judges who have this to say...Tatiana - Rough on the edges, but fierce. Jennifer B - something to work with. Kahlen - lots of potential. Luvey - is loved by Mrs. Jay. Brittany - looks like Janice Dickinson. Naima - edgy, but too edgy? Michelle - has an act, but can't carry herself. Brandy - hate the hair. Lindsey - nice potential. Brita - definitely looks like a fashion model. Sarah - Mrs. Jay loves her face. Estella - Great story, but not in the Top 14. Rebecca - clean palate, but too actressy? Lady Kat - good face, not hot on the body. Tiffany - move versatile than Lady Kat, has it together. Mary - Beautiful, but do you stick a plus sized model in there again?

We hear how badly Estella and Tiffany want this, but will they get it? We see now as Tyra calls them up for the final elimination. She tells the women that they are extra special - but only 14 of them will be in the running to be America's Next Top Model. The women are...Rebecca, Christina, Keenyah, Brita, Naima, Noelle, Michelle, Sarah, Brandi (who is the first person to give us tears), Brittney (who screams and makes a public outcry - yep, good villain material), Kahlen, Tatiana, Luvey and....Tiffany, who responds by screaming, crying and dropping to the ground. She runs to the other side and is crying her eyes out.

The other women are also crying, because they are now eliminated. Mary cries on Jessika's shoulder, then cries on Tyra and tells her that her heart is broken, Tyra tells her that she's been in Mary's shoes many times, and tells her to never give up. Estella says that someway she will get out of her situation and someway, she will come up on top.

The other 14 women celebrate, as Tiffany cries - 'I went from America's Most Wanted to America's Next Top Model'. We'll see if that happens, but as for right now, she is one of them. And with that, we see 14 photographs of the finalists and the first show ends.

My take? Well, I liked last season's opener better, but this was very good. I thought they spent too much time on people who won't get in and not enough on people who do get in, but I am sure we will learn more about these people in time.

Speaking of time, our time on this episode is done. On the next episode, we get to get a better hello to the finalists - but sweet goodbyes to at least one of them. Tune in next week to see who plays the role of Magdalena in this series.

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